Wounds

...now browsing by category

 

Re-entry

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Today I re-enter real life after a 9-day vacation – and oh, the pain.

I mean that figuratively, of course – but also literally. My body hurts. I climbed three 14ers last week, and I’m all scabs and bruises today. On a steep slope a week ago Sunday, a rock the size of a bowling ball dislodged above me and somehow rolled into my left knee, leaving only a small bloody mark but a deep bruise. Today, I’m left with a dilemma: I need to stretch my quad, but to do so would require bending my knee, which tears the scab.

We all face choices.

Anyway, this past Saturday I climbed Mt. Columbia. And it’s a good thing this 14er was my 34th and not my 1st – because had it been my 1st, I would never have climbed a mountain again. It was that horrible.

The top 2,000 feet is nothing but scree, a mixture of countless small loose rocks and slippery dirt that has only one goal: move down the mountain. To step is to dislodge it, leaving a climber feel like she’s in Indiana Jones, or a video game, or at least an episode of “Wipeout” – no matter what, you have to keep your feet moving. To stop is to slide. So I spent hours – HOURS – plodding straight up the mountain, and when the earth would start to give way beneath my feet, I’d run (fine, awkwardly scamper) to not be taken down with it.

The descent was even worse, so I decided to try to just ride the landslides down like I was skiing: SCREEING, I thought, proud of myself for being so clever.

Come to find out, the Internet already coined the term. The Internet always wins.

I have never cussed so much in my life – all the worst words, the ones that would convince you to never let me hold your babies again. I’d slide a bit, first cautiously, then out of control, causing one landslide after another, making me thankful that no one was below me. When I’d finally grind to a stop, pebbles in my boots and body shaking, I’d feel like screaming. I mean SCREEMING.

Thankfully, Mt. Columbia is over. Not so thankfully, vacation is too.

Keep your chin up out there today, people. Mondays can’t last forever, and neither can scabs. Words to live by.

Vacation

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Monday was a paid holiday, and I am taking tomorrow and Friday off.  That makes this a 2 day work week, and today my Friday.  Amen.

I’m not very good at “vacation.”  I travel a lot, and use every minute of the (very generous) vacation time that I am given – but I never take the time to just relax.  Relaxing makes me feel lazy – I’m too task-oriented and high-strung to relax*.  If I take time off, it is usually because I am flying to a wedding, or hitting the proverbial road, or spending a busy long weekend with friends – or, in the case of this week, climbing mountains and screaming at total strangers.

Let’s start with the first thing: climbing mountains.  Over the weekend, I absolutely destroyed the knuckles on my left hand.  How do I always wind up with bloody knuckles?  I mean, honestly – am I a Neanderthal, dragging my hands on the gravel behind me?  I never remember scraping them – I just look down and realize, “Oh, there are my bones.”  “Oh, there is blood.”  And then I spend the next 10 days breaking open the scabs every time I bend my fingers.

Type type type.  This is a sacrifice.

We’ll see if the weather allows for me to climb two 14ers in the next couple of days.

As for the screaming at total strangers, well – when two pit bulls attacked my dear old dog Rowdy, snarling and growling and biting, and their owner made no move to stop them, it felt like a fair trade.  Your dog snaps, I snap.

Obscenities were screamed (yes, the worst of the bad words), as well as a threat to call the police.  It was out of control.  I was out of control.

Maybe I need a vacation after all.

*I need** an intervention.  Seriously.  I don’t think I will ever relax unless someone hog-ties me and forces me to.

**You know what ELSE I need?   Seven fillings.  I went to the dentist and they found SEVEN cavities.  I have excellent dental hygiene, and haven’t had a cavity in 10 years.  What is going ON?  It’s going to be a 4-hour torture session (not to mention a hefty wad of cash) to get these bad boys taken care of.

Gah, I say.  GAH.

Who wears short shorts?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

We have a small crisis at the JAM house.  One of us (I’m not saying who) got some bug bites (I’m not saying where) that are now inflamed (I’m not saying how).

(Okay, I am saying how.)

Never put Nair over top of bug bites.

I’ll let you do the math.

Nair is an evil, evil invention.  It DISSOLVES HAIR.  You do realize that that is the same job description held by Drain-O?

Let’s change the subject.

Actually, let’s just leave it at that.

The sad truth about scabby knees

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

I arrived back in Kansas City last night to find my nephews, Micah and Tyler, spending the night at my parent’s. SLEEPOVER! I know that I say this all the time, but there is nothing that brings me more joy than spending time with those little nuggets.

Late in the evening, Tyler, who is 2 1/2, stubbed his toe. His face was this heartbreaking mix of shock and pain, because can you imagine? Stubbing your toe for the first time? And the unbelievable amount of agony that occurs? He was traumatized.

To curtail the tears and take his mind off of his aching toe, I quickly lied down on the floor with him and said, “Tyler, wanna see MY owie?” I rolled up my jeans to show him my bruised and scabbed knee. He, being the sweetest child alive, quickly said, “Don’t worry, I will kiss it.”

Now, picture this. He and I are lying side-by-side on the living room floor, my pant leg is rolled up past my knee – and my mom walks over, manhandles my calf, and bends it back over my body toward Tyler’s waiting lips. I am resistantly folded in half, because no, I’m sorry, my body does not willingly bend that way. I cry out in discomfort, but Tyler is eager to kiss my knee, so Mom pushes harder. I yowl, she pushes, he waits with his little lips puckered, and the human angle becomes smaller and smaller and smaller.

Finally, his lips connect with my knee.

And he declares, “Hmmm, it’s kind of furry.”

My life as a slapstick comedy

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

After hours of travel yesterday, and even more hours of travel today, I disembarked the plane, gathered my luggage, walked through the sliding glass doors, victoriously breathed in the air… and promptly tripped. Fell on my face, deeply skinning both knees and tearing my new jeans.

Welcome to New York.

My left knee is especially bad – a huge goose egg of a welt threatening to burst through my pants, and a deep cut that almost caused me to bleed to death on the hour-long subway ride from the airport. Maybe I’m a sissy, but it hurts. It hurts to walk, it hurts to bend, it hurts to lower my body down into a chair. Luckily, my sweet friend Heidi provided me with Neosporin, a huge bandage, and an icepack, and I have been able to pick the cotton scraps and gravel from the wound. We’ll see if I’m recovered enough to take the City by foot tomorrow.

First stop: “The Lion King.” Naaaaaa – sa – bwen – yaaaaahhh!!!